2017 Gotham Awards Nominations Announced

The Gotham Awards are the first out of the gate to announce their nominations. This is our first look at which films are going to be part of the movie awards conversation this year.

2012 was the last time that the Best Picture winner did not get either a Gotham nomination or win the Gotham award. 12 Years a Slave was nominated. Birdman, Spotlight, and Moonlight all won the Gotham and then won Best Picture.  The time before that was in 2009 when The Hurt Locker was nominated, won the Gotham and went on to win Best Picture.

This year Get Out received the most nominations with 4.  There has been a lot of speculation about the chances of Get Out being recognized during awards season. Movies released early in the year rarely do, but Get Out is that good.

Happy to see Call Me by Your Name and The Florida Project get recognized.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on November 27th.

Full List of movie nominations:

Best Feature
Call Me by Your Name
The Florida Project
Get Out
Good Time
I, Tonya

Best Documentary
Ex Libris – The New York Public Library
Rat Film
Strong Island
Whose Streets?
The Work

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Maggie Betts for Novitiate
Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird
Kogonada for Columbus
Jordan Peele for Get Out
Joshua Z Weinstein for Menashe

Best Screenplay
The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani
Brad’s Status, Mike White
Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory
Columbus, Kogonada
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig

Best Actor
Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project
James Franco in The Disaster Artist
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out
Robert Pattinson in Good Time
Adam Sandler in The Meyerowitz Stories
Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky

Best Actress
Melanie Lynskey in I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
Haley Lu Richardson in Columbus
Margot Robbie in I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird
Lois Smith in Marjorie Prime

Breakthrough Actor
Mary J. Blige in Mudbound
Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name
Harris Dickinson in Beach Rats
Kelvin Harrison, Jr. in It Comes at Night
Brooklynn Prince in The Florida Project

* The 2017 Best Actor/Best Actress nominating committee also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award for ensemble performance to Mudbound, The award will go to actors Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan, and Jonathan Banks.
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Oscar Potential Movies Pushed to 2018

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Its a crowded Oscar race so far this year. Some studios originally set to release their films this year are waiting until 2018.

A number of films with strong acting performances like, The Children Act starring Emma Thompson, The Wife starring Glenn Close, and On Chesil Beach with Saoirse Ronan won’t get an awards-qualifying run this year.

If you don’t launch your film in early Fall and get all of that important festival buzz, you may be better off waiting. This year, movie makers faced tough some tough competition due to studios already having their fall release films in place. Fox Searchlight has Battle of the Sexes, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Focus is spending its money on Victoria and Abdul, Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread. Sony Pictures Classics already has Call Me by Your Name, Novitiate and Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. They also have to think about how many movies a theater can show in an already full fall release schedule.

Some see this as the studio not having much confidence in the film, but sometimes its better not to rush a release date.  Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker was picked up at Toronto in 2008 but not released until June of the following year.  It then went on to win the best picture Oscar. Crash also bought at Toronto in 2004, was not released 2005 and it went on to be a best picture winner.

Academy Kicks Out Harvey Weinstein

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Harvey Weinstein has been kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after an emergency board meeting on Saturday. He is no longer a member and has been stripped of his voting rights.

Weinstein was fired a week ago from the company he co-founded following harassment and assault allegations going back decades.

The board is made up of 54 members, including Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. The number of votes to remove Weinstein was well above the two thirds needed. The Academy has been criticized in the past for ignoring other allegations of sexual misconduct. Woody Allen, Casey Affleck and Roman Polanski have all won Oscars despite such claims. Bill Cosby is still an academy member.

More decisions will be made regarding Weinstein’s future. France is discussing whether to revoke his Legion of Honour, the country’s highest civilian distinction, according to President Emmanuel Macron’s office Saturday.

The Producers Guild of America will hold an emergency board meeting on Monday to decide whether Weinstein should be kicked out of the organization. In 2012, he received the PGA’s Milestone Award.

Women continue to come forward about Weinstein’s inappropriate behavior. Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow allege harassment as well as Minka Kelly, Kate Beckinsale, Mira Sorvino and Rose McGowan.

Weinstein had his share of accomplishments. His biggest was getting his film Shakespeare in Love to beat out Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture in 1999. His fall from grace was swift and harsh. The “Oscar Whisperer” is no more and deservedly so.

 

92 Countries Enter Best Foreign Language Film Race

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92 countries have submitted films for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category for Academy Awards. Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father (currently on Netflix) was submitted as the entry from Cambodia.

You might want to wait until the list gets narrowed down before trying to see all 93 films. It will eventually become a list of 5 nominees.

Full list of submissions:

Afghanistan, A Letter to the President, Roya Sadat, director
Albania, Daybreak, Gentian Koçi, director
Algeria, Road to Istanbul, Rachid Bouchareb, director
Argentina, Zama, Lucrecia Martel, director
Armenia, Yeva, Anahit Abad, director
Australia, The Space Between, Ruth Borgobello, director
Austria, Happy End, Michael Haneke, director
Azerbaijan, Pomegranate Orchard, Ilgar Najaf, director
Bangladesh, The Cage, Akram Khan, director
Belgium, Racer and the Jailbird, Michaël R. Roskam, director
Bolivia, Dark Skull, Kiro Russo, director
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Men Don’t Cry, Alen Drljević, director
Brazil, Bingo – The King of the Mornings, Daniel Rezende, director
Bulgaria, Glory, Petar Valchanov, Kristina Grozeva, directors
Cambodia, First They Killed My Father, Angelina Jolie, director
Canada, Hochelaga, Land of Souls, François Girard, director
Chile, A Fantastic Woman, Sebastián Lelio, director
China, Wolf Warrior 2, Wu Jing, director
Colombia, Guilty Men, Iván D. Gaona, director
Costa Rica, The Sound of Things, Ariel Escalante, director
Croatia, Quit Staring at My Plate, Hana Jušić, director
Czech Republic, Ice Mother, Bohdan Sláma, director
Denmark, You Disappear, Peter Schønau Fog, director
The Dominican Republic, Woodpeckers, Jose Maria Cabral, director
Ecuador, Alba, Ana Cristina Barragán, director
Egypt, Sheikh Jackson, Amr Salama, director
Estonia, November, Rainer Sarnet, director
Finland, Tom of Finland, Dome Karukoski, director
France, BPM (Beats Per Minute), Robin Campillo, director
Georgia, Scary Mother, Ana Urushadze, director
Germany, In the Fade, Fatih Akin, director
Greece, Amerika Square, Yannis Sakaridis, director
Haiti, Ayiti Mon Amour, Guetty Felin, director
Honduras, Morazán, Hispano Durón, director
Hong Kong, Mad World, Wong Chun, director
Hungary, On Body and Soul, Ildikó Enyedi, director
Iceland, Under the Tree, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, director
India, Newton, Amit V Masurkar, director
Indonesia, Turah, Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo, director
Iran, Breath, Narges Abyar, director
Iraq, Reseba – The Dark Wind, Hussein Hassan, director
Ireland, Song of Granite, Pat Collins, director
Israel, Foxtrot, Samuel Maoz, director
Italy, A Ciambra, Jonas Carpignano, director
Japan, Her Love Boils Bathwater, Ryota Nakano, director
Kazakhstan, The Road to Mother, Akhan Satayev, director
Kenya, Kati Kati, Mbithi Masya, director
Kosovo, Unwanted, Edon Rizvanolli, director
Kyrgyzstan, Centaur, Aktan Arym Kubat, director
Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Dearest Sister, Mattie Do, director
Latvia, The Chronicles of Melanie, Viestur Kairish, director
Lebanon, The Insult, Ziad Doueiri, director
Lithuania, Frost, Sharunas Bartas, director
Luxembourg, Barrage, Laura Schroeder, director
Mexico, Tempestad, Tatiana Huezo, director
Mongolia, The Children of Genghis, Zolbayar Dorj, director
Morocco, Razzia, Nabil Ayouch, director
Mozambique, The Train of Salt and Sugar, Licinio Azevedo, director
Nepal, White Sun, Deepak Rauniyar, director
Netherlands, Layla M., Mijke de Jong, director
New Zealand, One Thousand Ropes, Tusi Tamasese, director
Norway, Thelma, Joachim Trier, director
Pakistan, Saawan, Farhan Alam, director
Palestine, Wajib, Annemarie Jacir, director
Panama, Beyond Brotherhood, Arianne Benedetti, director
Paraguay, Los Buscadores, Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schembori, directors
Peru, Rosa Chumbe, Jonatan Relayze, director
Philippines, Birdshot, Mikhail Red, director
Poland, Spoor, Agnieszka Holland, Kasia Adamik, directors
Portugal, Saint George, Marco Martins, director
Romania, Fixeur, Adrian Sitaru, director
Russia, Loveless, Andrey Zvyagintsev, director
Senegal, Félicité, Alain Gomis, director
Serbia, Requiem for Mrs. J., Bojan Vuletic, director
Singapore, Pop Aye, Kirsten Tan, director
Slovakia, The Line, Peter Bebjak, director
Slovenia, The Miner, Hanna A. W. Slak, director
South Africa, The Wound, John Trengove, director
South Korea, A Taxi Driver, Jang Hoon, director
Spain, Summer 1993, Carla Simón, director
Sweden, The Square, Ruben Östlund, director
Switzerland, The Divine Order, Petra Volpe, director
Syria, Little Gandhi, Sam Kadi, director
Taiwan, Small Talk, Hui-Chen Huang, director
Thailand, By the Time It Gets Dark, Anocha Suwichakornpong, director
Tunisia, The Last of Us, Ala Eddine Slim, director
Turkey, Ayla: The Daughter of War, Can Ulkay, director
Ukraine, Black Level, Valentyn Vasyanovych, director
The United Kingdom, My Pure Land, Sarmad Masud, director
Uruguay, Another Story of the World, Guillermo Casanova, director
Venezuela, El Inca, Ignacio Castillo Cottin, director
Vietnam, Father and Son, Luong Dinh Dung, director.

Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

 

Harvey Weinstein Fired From Weinstein Co.

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Harvey Weinstein put up the money and was the power behind some of the biggest films of the past 25 years.

Know as the “Oscar Whisperer”, the 65-year-old has been involved in the production of 20 films that have been nominated for best picture.  Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, Shakespeare In Love and The English Patient all went on to win the Academy Award. Other films to get Oscar nominations include Pulp Fiction and Gangs of New York.

Harvey and his brother Bob Weinstein founded Miramax in 1979, turning it into a major  player before selling it to Disney in 1993. They continued to work with Miramax until 2005 when they quit to start Weinstein Company, which was responsible for The King’s Speech, Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook.

There have always been rumors about Harvey’s inappropriate treatment of women that worked for him. A New York Times article the past week alleged inappropriate behavior with women in the last 30 years. In it, actress Ashley Judd described being lured to Weinstein’s hotel room, to find him wearing a bathrobe and requesting sexual favors. It had claims from other women working for the company and  official settlements from people, including Rose McGowan, who was issued a $100,000 settlement. Now several more women have reportedly come forward to allege serious sexual misconduct.

In a statement, Weinstein said he “came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone. I realised some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.”

The Weinstein Company announced on Sunday that its directors have fired Harvey Weinstein.

A statement released from the company read “In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company – Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar – have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately.”

If Harvey would have stayed on and continued to produce movies, every actress or actor working with him would forever be questioned about why they would support someone accused of sexual harassment. To this day same questions are asked of people that work with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. The Weinstein Company had no choice but to fire its founder.

Review of The Meyerowitz Stories

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Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) premiered this week at the The New York Film Festival.

The Meyerowitz Stories received early buzz at Cannes earlier this year.  The films made  up of  a series of chapters about the Meyerowitz family led by the father Harold (Dustin Hoffman). Harold was a professor and had minor success as a sculptor, but now he’s forced to watch his old friends get big shows at museums. Adam Sandler plays Danny, Harold’s oldest and least successful son.

Danny is a great father to Eliza, played brilliantly by Grace Van Patten. Eliza is headed to film school and Danny is left dealing with his father Harold. Harold has been married four times to the mother of Danny and his sister Jean played by Elizabeth Marvel. They have a half-brother from another mother, Matthew played by Ben Stiller. He’s a very successful financial manager for famous people. Harold is currently married to alcoholic Maureen played by Emma Thompson.

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Most of the film is about Danny and Matthew as Harold begins to need medical attention and his kids have to figure out out their long-repressed issues in their relationships with each other and their father.

The Meyerowitz Stories has all of the ingredients for a tender comedy, but in the end it falls flat. Dustin Hoffman is great as Harold and could qualify for a Best Actor nod in a better film. Sandler attempts to play a serious role through his rivalry with his half-brother. Sandler and Stiller do not have the chemistry needed to make us care about their characters. The third act has them in a silly physical fight that was clearly crowbarred in. Baumbach admitted in his Q&A after the screening that Sandler and Stiller talked him into adding a physical altercation.  The movie is not free from laughs and could be described as mildly entertaining.

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Netflix bought The Meyerowitz Stories, but will have a theatrical run to qualify for awards season. Its worth checking out on Netflix, but doesn’t stand up as a major theatrical film.

The Meyerowitz Stories can be seen on Netflix beginning on October 13th.

My Grade: C